Thursday, December 30, 2021

December Inspiration::All Things Christmas


                                                         Photo by Olesia Buyar on Unsplash

This December's Art Elements theme is --all things Christmas.  You can use any medium you feel inspires you.  This time of year, I love to make handmade ornaments and gifts.  I also made it a goal to cut down on waste in wrapping and tags.  


One of my favorite artisans is Brooke Bock.  She made the ceramics that I turned into Christmas ornaments.  The first ornament is for a special friend that loves the beach. Our favorite thing to do is to go to the beach to sit and catch up on our lives.  I only needed to add the connection between the ceramic and my handmade hanger.    



My next ornament is for the nature lover in my family.  I added a cream ceramic to Brooke's.  This cream ceramic is one that my cousin made which makes this ornament even more special in my eyes.  A red bow and handmade ornament hanger complete it.


Next I made this holiday wreath for my daughter's door.  I am very proud of the  bow which I made.  I bought a bow maker a few years ago. I have yet to use it, but I am determined to master it.  I have dragged it out to use which caused me to look at the instructional video twice. It seems to have a big learning curve but I am determined to master it.  



I feel that reusing and recycling is becoming more important every day.  In my last blog about gourds,  I talked about putting my pumpkins outside for the animals to eat and to keep them out of the landfill.  I did this and to my surprise when I returned to see the pumpkins, the ones that I had cut open when placed in the woods were completely eaten.  There was nothing left. The pumpkin in the above photo was originally whole when left outside.  Currently, you can see some animals worked hard to get into it and I am sure they will return and finish it off. 

My efforts to do better with my Christmas wrap were more successful than last year's.  I began with my giving up using glitter on most things.  I love glitter but I learned it is bad for the environment.  This year instead of buying gift tags, I embossed brown bags and used a die to cut them into gift tag shapes.  These tags looked especially cute with brown craft bags that many stores gave out and I saved to reuse.  I had thought about stamping the bags with snow flakes but I simply did not have the time.  I added some festive tissue paper and some ribbon. The gifts had a co-ordinated look plus I saved at least one trip to the store.  


Throughout the month of December projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page
 
I hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2022!  I would love to hear any tips you have for cutting back waste and reusing.









Saturday, November 27, 2021

November Inspiration::Gourds

                                                       Photo by Jenny Kalahar on Unsplash

This month's Art Elements theme is --the gourd.  You can use any medium you feel inspires you.  This time of year, I love to decorate with my favorite gourd --the pumpkin.  Its range of colors make it perfect for fall inspiration.   
 

Now that the  trick-or-treaters are gone and the costumes and decorations are packed away and Thanksgiving is over what about the pumpkins? 
Millions of pumpkins are sent to landfills each year, There they will decompose, releasing methane — a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide — into the atmosphere.  Rather than sending your pumpkins out with the trash,  think about some other options.  Composting is a perfect solution.   Even if you're going to compost your pumpkins, scoop the seeds out first and save them for the wildlife.  If that is not an available option then consider cutting your pumpkin into pieces and spreading outside as a treat for local critters. Birds, squirrels, chipmonks, foxes, deer and other mammals.will feed on the flesh of the pumpkins in addition to the seeds.





These unique pumpkin statement earrings combine beautiful ceramic orange ceramic ovals that remind me of pumpkins. I added small green beads that look like stems. I used brass leaf bead caps and copper wire to create the stems. Natural brass ear wires provide contrast.

Throughout the month of November projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have discovered a new way to reuse your pumpkins and help the planet a bit. 


Friday, October 22, 2021

October Inspiration::The Skull

 



It wouldn't Halloween without some fun scary skulls, skeletons and ghosts.  The  Arts and Elements Inspiration for the month of October is Skulls.  This is a perfect time for me to make some Halloween earrings.  I grabbed a pair of skeleton beads I had on hand and then looked through my bead to see what I could add.  It wouldn't be Halloween without lots of orange and black so I used that as my color palette.



These are long skull earrings that are perfect for Halloween and Dia de Muertos . The skull is pale gray with piercing black eyes. This skull art jewelry is hung on sterling silver ear wires. Black and orange are traditional Fall colors so I added the orange ceramic bead to bring in those colors. I loved creating the loops at the end of the earring with the black wire the beads are stacked on. These light weight earrings are about 2.5 inches long and are sure to make a statement.





Everyone associates black and orange with Halloween. I decided to see what I could find out about this tradition. In fact, these two colors have been a staple in Halloween celebrations throughout the United States for over a century. Along with pumpkins, orange represents the changing of the seasons that comes with Halloween. Orange is also associated with the harvest season, fire, and warmth. Black represents darkness, death, and winter. Together, the colors are high-contrast. In recent times purple has made its way into the Halloween colors. 

                                                       Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash

Throughout the month of October projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have fun with this challenge! I certainly did.


                                                      Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


Sunday, September 26, 2021

My September Inspiration is a Favorite Book


                                                         Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


This month's Art Elements theme is "favorite book."  A broad interpretation is permitted.   It can be your favorite book ever, favorite book this year, or favorite book from a specific period in your life. Or, if you couldn't possibly narrow it down to one book, pick one that creates vivid imagery for you. Or maybe literally use a favorite book to create something new.  There's bonus points if you tell us about the book and why you love it or why it inspired you to create.  You can use any medium you feel inspired to share your books. 

I decided to select Winnie-the-Pooh, also called Pooh Bear and Pooh as my inspiration.   He is a fictional teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne  and English illustrator E. H. Shepard.  He comes to life in the stories as  soft-voiced, cuddly, loveable,  quiet teddy bear and the main protagonist. Despite being na├»ve and slow-witted, he is a friendly, thoughtful and sometimes a very insightful character who is always willing to help and try his best. As you might imagine his love  for honey often leads to trouble.  In the books, Pooh is a talented poet, and the stories are frequently punctuated by his poems and "hums". He is humble about his slow-wittedness, but comfortable with his creative gifts.


                                                           Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Being a retired children's librarian and a huge fan of Pooh.  I still have the Pooh stories that I read to my children and now I am excited to share them with my grandson.   I also happened to have a little collection of handmade ceramic beads inspired by these stories.  I could not resist them!



                                                        Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash



These handmade sterling silver Pooh Bear and Piglet earrings are made for adult Winnie the Pooh fans.   As a gift these are unique dangles are sure to please.  I used sterling silver wire to connect the charms to the blue Czech flower beads.  The earrings hang 1.75 inches below sterling ear wires.  The ceramic charms are made by Scottish artisan Grubbi and are available for purchase in my BayMoonDesign shop.. 

 


Throughout the month of September projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have fun with this challenge!  I loved it.  My only regret is not having gotten to making a necklace for these earrings--another challenge!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Turtles

                                                          Photo by Wexor Tmg on Unsplash
 
The Art Elements monthly challenge theme for August is the turtle.  I think of the turtle as my spirit animal.  Turtles are thought of as easygoing, patient, and wise creatures. Due to their long lifespan, slow movement, sturdiness, and wrinkled appearance, they are associated with longevity. I consider myself slow but steady in how I approach things.  Having a degree from the University of Maryland, their mascot the terrapin has a fond spot in my heart. Plus, I am certainly old and wrinkled no
w!

                                                   Photo by Kris Mikael Krister on Unsplash

Turtles have regularly been incorporated into art and literature over time.  I like to use turtles in my handmade art jewelry and cards as well.  This challenge motivated me to create this handmade card.  I love to look for turtles in the clear waters of the Florida Keys when I am lucky to be there.  I incorporated a reef into this card to capture those memories.

                                                       Green turtle card by BayMoonDesign

I am always on the lookout for turtle beads to incorporate into my jewelry. The turtle is the focus of this handmade bracelet.  I included a unique yellow lampwork seashell and sand bead, sand dollar charm, and aqua blue Czech glass beads. This boho blue bracelet is held together with natural color Irish waxed lined and natural brass lobster clasp and natural brass starfish charm that has had a patina applied.  


This green turtle bracelet features a unique handmade polymer clay turtle by Brooke Brock. This bracelet also has pretty green lamp work beads by Susan Kennedy. It is held together by a black lobster clasp. I used annealed steel wire which was treated to bring out the black in the turtle. 

                                                    Green Turtle Bracelet by BayMoonDesign

Throughout the month of August projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or #aeturtles and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and they will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page. I hope you have fun with this challenge!

                                        
                                                         Photo by Scott Stefan on Unsplash


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Upcycle


                                                        Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

July's Art Elements theme is Upcycle.  Upcycle can mean junkyard art, recycle, repurpose etc.  In the end, you need to give something new life. To join this challenge all you need do is create something using repurposed items. it can be a beautiful piece of art, a useful practical item or something that combines both. 

I decided to start with a special piece of tin that have had for awhile.  The small circular tin has a Scottish terrier on it.  Having spent much of my childhood with a Scottish born grandfather and a Scottish terrier as a pet, I knew right away that I would make something with it.  


I knew that I wanted to enlarge the appearance of the tin and add some weight to it to turn it in to a pendant. I decided to back the area with red plaid faux leather which I had eft from a previous project. I used a circular die and Sizzix machine that I use for making my handmade cards. I cut out a larger circle than the tin and used it to layer under the tin.


I love how the red plaid brings out the red on the dog's bow tie. Red is the color that I decided to add where possible. With black as the other dominant color in the necklace, I wanted to brighten it up.



To increase the size of the pendent and add more red, I placed the circular piece of red plaid faux leather under the circular dog tin.  I lined up the plaid circle with the hole in the tin and punched through the leather to create a hole that is large enough to put a 12 inch piece of black annealed wire through.  I made a simple loop and left a 8 inch tail of wire to stack a red bead.  I created another simple loop with the wire.  I made sure to keep a tail long enough to loop over the black sea glass.  On the other end of the sea glass I threaded 3mm wide soft deer leather.  I was able to find a black bead that had a hole large enough to run 2 pieces of the leather through. 


  

Next, I tied an overhand knot to keep these pieces in place.  I added a small lobster clasp at the ends.  Actually the necklace is large enough to slip over your head.  For some extra flare I added a piece of same black leather above the red bead and tied a knot on each end of the cord.

                                                 Scottish Terrier Necklace by BayMoonDesign

I am very happy with the necklace.  It has a handsome pendant and a soft comfortable leather strap.
It is available in my online BayMoonDesign shop.  


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Art Elements:: Lizards


                                                         Photo by Jelle de Gier on Unsplash

I hope these images inspire you! For this month's theme we are free to use any kind of lizard! Use any medium you feel inspired to showcase these sun loving characters. You can post your project on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or #aeLizard and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and we will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page.

                                                       Photo by Vengadesh Sago on Unsplash

I have a lizard necklace in my BayMoonDesign store. The lizard was created by Brooke Bock and I love how the chain goes so well with it. Since I made the necklace awhile ago, I thought I should make something new for this challenge. 

                                                       Lizard Necklace by BayMoonDesign

This would be a good time to expand my stamp collection. I have always admired the gecko so I sought to find a gecko stamp. I usually use rubber stamps, but I found a wood carved gecko that I loved.

.
Gecko Card by BayMoonDesign

To make this handmade note card, I used high quality white card stock to stamp the gecko on. I applied a water based brown ink with a brayer to the carved wood stamp and stamped the image onto the card stock. Since this type of paper hasn't much give, I created a cushioned area out of recycled plastic mailing envelopes. After the stamped image dried, I cut it out. I love the fact that when the image is cut out, it stays in a circular pattern and can be elevated with dimensional foam. It gives the gecko a slight 3 dimensional effect. I selected some bright yellow and orange printed paper and layered it on orange card stock. I added some yellow ribbon to give the card some additional pop of color.

                                                         Gecko Blank Note Card by BayMoonDesign

For the next gecko card, I used the same process but the orange and yellow paper that I made by my using my jelli plate. I wanted to create some desert colors.


                                                 Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

Find a lizard that inspires you!  

Monday, May 31, 2021

Dandelion


The May Art Elements theme is the Dandelion. We can use any medium that we feel inspires us to showcase the dandelion. Projects can be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #aethemechallenge or #aeDandelion and tag it with @art__elements (2 underscores between art and elements) and we will repost your images. You can also post it to the Art Elements Community Facebook page.

This theme really made me happy because it reminded me of how much I enjoyed blowing on dandelions when they were white and had gone to seed when I was a child.  I  loved watching the seeds drift off in the air.  With that in mind I started to notice all of the dandelions around me on my walks. 


I thought that this would be the perfect time to introduce my 15 month grandson to the tradition of wishing when you blow on a dandelion.  His newly developed walking skills enable him to follow me outside to a dandelion and watch me blow on it. I repeated this a number of times and then he picked a dandelion by the stem and waved it around with excitement.  He isn't able to blow on it with enough force to  to send the seeds flying off but he enjoys the wandering around and picking them up with me doing the blowing.  I smiled inside when I heard a report that he had picked all of the dandelions around his house over the course of the week.

With dandelions in mind,  I set out to make a few birthday cards.  One for a friend's birthday and the others for my BayMoonDesign gift shop.


                                              Make a Wish Birthday Card by BayMoonDesign

                                                Inside of the birthday card by BayMoonDesign

I used white craft ink on the card to get an extra thick image. I also used a trick that I read about to color the rhinestone that I glued to these cards. I applied ink to the rhinestones that matched the paper. The ink stayed on the stones perfectly and added some glitz.

                          

I love this bright yellow paper and I used it to line an envelope for a card that is in my BayMoonDesign store.


                                                Inside of  birthday card by BayMoonDesign

I made a second card in a different color palette just to see which one I liked the best. The first card has earthy colors and the second has bright spring colors. I like them both!


                                                            Dandelions by BayMoonDesign

For my third card (photo above)  I set about selecting a Dandelion metal cutting die that would enable me to cut out the image of a dandelion as well as emboss the image of a dandelion onto paper. To emboss I used my Big Shot and created these layers to emboss the dandelions.

Step 1
Placement of the platform and die to emboss with the Big Shot:

Platform
Clear plate
Silicone craft sheet
Cardstock, facing up
Detailed die, cutting edge face down onto the cardstock)
A piece of copy paper
Clear plate
Two pieces of cardstock for shim

Top and bottom plates or shims may vary depending on your machine, but the technique will work with proper pressure if the layers are in order.
  1. I watched a number of videos on the technique of embossing with metal dies and experimented with the technique a number of times before I got the results that I was looking for.  It was worth the trials because I love the result.

  2. Dandelions give me joy!
  3.   

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Arts Elements Rabbits

                                                        Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

The Art Elements Theme Challenge is honoring the rabbit or hare for April 2021.  This month provides many of us with lots of opportunities for real life sightings. Yesterday when I was out walking I spotted several.  Plus, who doesn't love the fantastic Easter bunny who just paid us a visit.

This challenge is open to any medium and you are welcome to share your creations in the designated album on the Art Elements Community Facebook Page or your blog anytime during the month. 

                                                        Photo by Andrew Coop on Unsplash

I decided that this was the perfect motivation for me to use some vintage brass rabbits that I had on hand.  I also had some ice resin left from a previous project.  The challenge for me was locating a pair of bezels that were an oval shape and  perfect size.  I spent some time on the Internet looking for what I had in mind.  Another challenged that I faced was locating the perfect background for the rabbits on the bezels.  I also gave thought to where I would add beads.  After all I have some really pretty leaves and flowers that I could add.  Since I like to keep my earrings small rather than large, I finally decided that these earrings are meant to be simple.  The sterling silver ear wires I added are small but have lots of style. 


In a previous blog I described using Ice Resin for the first time and being really pleased with the results.  This is my second project with this Ice Resin and I am wondering why it has taken me so long to go back to.  

After deciding which high quality paper to use from my collection,  I prepared to make 2 pairs of earrings which would be alike except for their background.  I then gathered four bezels, ice resin, a pencil, sizzors and Mod Podge.  It is important to use high quality, thick paper and trace your oval on the backside of the paper.  I then attached the paper to the inside of the bezel with Mod Podge and let dry.  The rabbit fit inside perfectly.


I like the pink sparkly pink background for a girly pair.  My next pair has a more earthy look with the green background that reminds me of ferns and nature.  

                           Modern Repurposed Rabbit Earrings by BayMoonDesign

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I was inspired to make by the rabbit theme.  Please take some time and visit the other artists to see what they made.


Enjoy the Spring!